Bashir Jamoh, the director-general of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) has unveiled the nation’s strategic plans for protecting the marine environment and achieving zero carbon emission by 2050.
In his message at the 2022 World Maritime Day celebration in Lagos, last week, listed the plans as contained in the below speech:
As the Director General of the Nigerian Maritime Safety and Administration (NIMASA), I want to first take this opportunity to reiterate our vision to be the leading maritime administration in Africa on safe, secure, and sustainable shipping, cleaner oceans, and enhanced maritime capacity in line with the best global practices.
Climate change is one of the biggest challenges facing the world today and Nigeria is no exception.
According to the United Nations, climate change is now affecting every country on every continent – and the poorest and most vulnerable people are being affected the most. Half of the top ten and two out of the top three countries most affected by climate change in 2019 are in Africa, according to the Global Climate Risk Index 2021 published by German watch.
Nigeria strongly shares the sentiments expressed by many on the need for urgent action and welcomes the call for multi-stakeholder cooperation to tackle climate change and its impacts.
The theme of the World Maritime Day for 2022- which is “New technologies for greener shipping” – is a theme that provides an opportunity to promote partnerships in developing solutions to help speed up actions necessary to tackle climate change in the maritime sector.
Nigeria supports the 2015 Paris Agreement – limiting global warming to well below 2°C and pursuing efforts to limit it to 1.5°C. Nigeria plans to cut its Greenhouse Gas emissions intensity by 20 percent by 2030 compared with the levels between 2010 and 2014 on an unconditional basis – and pledges a further 45 percent reduction conditional on receiving climate finance, technology transfer, and capacity building.
The setting of these Nationally Determined Contributions was a major milestone that signalled Nigeria’s commitment to responding to the threats and opportunities presented by climate change.
Nigeria actively supports, and promotes, the need for the world to move to a net zero carbon emission future-recognising this will require effective leadership, institutional frameworks, global and regional cooperation, and significant investments in climate actions.
In 2018, Nigeria participated in the negotiations at the International Maritime Organization (IMO) which resulted in the Initial Greenhouse Gas Strategy for the maritime sector – setting an initial target of 40 percent carbon intensity reduction by 2030, a 70 percent carbon intensity reduction by 2050 and to reduce total annual Greenhouse Gas emissions by at least 50 percent by 2050 compared to 2008 and phasing them out as soon as possible this century.
Nigeria is poised to actively participate in the development of the revised IMO Greenhouse Gas Strategy planned for adoption in 2023.
As Nigeria’s agency for regulating shipping, NIMASA has developed, and is adopting and maturing measures to protect the marine environment from the impact of shipping activities.
These include taking steps to ensure ships comply with the IMO 0.5% global limit for sulphur in fuel oil used on board ships, delineating emission control and “slow steaming” areas in Nigeria’s ports and its approaches, and establishing a National Technical Committee on Green House Gas emission reduction and decarbonisation.
NIMASA has also taken measures to address the important issue of marine litter in Nigerian waters and the devastating effects this can have on our coastal communities.
NIMASA is fully committed to tackling shipping’s contribution to climate change in line with Nigeria’s Climate Change Policy and IMO Greenhouse Gas strategy.
We aspire to achieve net zero carbon emissions for shipping in Nigeria by 2050. We also intend to play a lead role in fostering cooperation between policymakers, governments, and industry in Africa towards a greener and more sustainable shipping in the continent and its sub-regions our strategy for net zero carbon emission shipping will be centred on the following three core themes :
First in 2023 – Adoption of a National Action Plan: Our National Technical Committee on the reduction of Greenhouse Gas emissions from ships will be strengthened and tasked to develop a clear and achievable National Action Plan for addressing Greenhouse Gas emissions from ships and maximising the opportunities to the Nigeria maritime sector and the wider economy.
The plan will set out strategies and policy measures for effective and sustainable implementation of climate actions for shipping in Nigeria. It will set out the details on the implementation and enforcement of international regulations that support net zero carbon emission shipping- ensuring that all new and existing vessels operating in or transiting Nigeria waters adopt energy-efficient, low-and-zero carbon emission options.
The development of the plan will involve extensive research and horizon scanning, as well as consultations with leaders and experts across government, maritime industry, and academia.
Second-Provision of incentives and financial mechanisms: NIMASA recognises there is no single solution to the challenge of addressing Greenhouse Gas emissions from ships.
It requires new enterprise and innovative solutions – some of which present significant investment challenges but also opportunities for shipping companies, port operators, and others in the maritime value chain. NIMASA will act by mobilising and facilitating fiscal policies and financial mechanisms-including donor initiatives to support energy efficiency and emission reduction initiatives focused on ships, port infrastructure, and other key areas.
Third – Global and regional cooperation: The transition to a net zero carbon emission future in shipping requires both individual and collective actions by governments and industries across the globe. There are examples around the world where this is already happening and delivering results.
Collaboration between regional and international partners is a step we can collectively take to share good practices and information, create synergies, and leverage expertise and capacity across governments and industries.
In this respect, NIMASA intends to organise, by February 2023, a conference on possible pathways to net zero emission shipping in Africa and the collective actions necessary to implement them. More details about the conference will be announced in due course.
Let’s be honest, this is a challenging journey, but we have started well; positive action by the global shipping community to help protect our planet from the existential threats of climate change is underway. NIMASA will continue to play its role in the energy transition of shipping and will continue to push boundaries towards achieving our aspiration of net zero carbon shipping by 2050.
It is a global team effort, and our message to our partners in governments and industry is to let’s work together and proactively support the transition to a greener and more sustainable maritime sector for Nigeria, Africa, and the world at large.